Grantham resident unhappy with answers to his questions on Grantham Hospital and parking
Grantham resident and former councillor Bruce Wells has received some 'unsatisfactory' answers to questions he put to the health authority at the recent Healthy Conversation event held in Grantham.
Mr Wells says the questions he put to officials at the engagement event have not been answered properly. He told the Journal: "I personally don't think they answer properly the questions I put to them, and reading their answers, I think it means they have made up their minds, but are going through the motions, ie box ticking."
When Mr Wells attended the event, he asked the engagement team: "Why did you downgrade Grantham hospital without talking to the public at large and not people who go to trust meetings? - not everyone can go to them. The Parking Eye is a shambles. It needs replacing. If you go to visit someone in hospital after 6pm you should not have to pay or at the weekends. The Parking Eye is about making money, not about patient care. Why is the PALS office closed at Grantham?"
Mr Wells recently received a response from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust. It said: "The current service at Grantham Hospital is temporary but it is not safe to reinstate to a 24-hour A&E service. We have listened carefully to the voices of the public / councillors / petition and will continue to do so. Sometimes it is not possible to make the changes that are suggested to us because of factors such as patient safety or staffing.
"As part of Healthy Conversation 2019, we also want to be honest with the public about what it is and is not possible for us to deliver, and the clinical and service reasons for that. It is right that any NHS service must be safe and sustainable. We have to be realistic as we do not have the staff to run three full A&E departments and it is highly unlikely that that will change. We have 19 A&E consultant posts in Lincolnshire but only four of these have substantive consultants in posts.
"Our emerging option of a 24/7 UTC would enable more patients to receive services in Grantham than is currently the case as Grantham Hospital has not had a full A&E department for a number of years. It has only been providing a restricted range of services. The proposal for an urgent treatment centre at Grantham is all about providing 24/7 access to urgent care whilst tackling the challenges we currently face head on.
"The majority of patients that are seen at Grantham today would continue to be seen in the urgent treatment centre. If patients are critically ill or injured, like today, they would be taken to a centre of excellence to be seen by a specialist. An example is the Lincolnshire Heart Centre.
"The aim of this Healthy Conversation is to be open and honest with members of the public about what we can and can’t deliver at Grantham Hospital, and one option to be discussed is the possibility of reinstating 24/7 urgent access for patients in the form of an urgent treatment centre.
"It’s important to remember that no decisions will be made until after a full public consultation.
"The Grantham office (PALS) has been temporarily closed due to short term sickness. There are notices throughout the site informing visitors to email or call the office number. The Grantham office is now manned two days a week."
Mr Wells was told that his concerns about parking at Grantham Hospital have been recorded "and will be fully considered".